I just received my 4th axis rotary kit for my Ar8 pro+ and during the set up, I noticed the jaws on the chuck did not have the burrs removed after machining and before assembly. With a small file they can be removed and they are sharp. I checked all of the machined surfaces and spend some time removing the burrs.
Mine was similar. They are of very poor quality and you will likely want to replace them with a better quality set, like Nova. I think Axiom would be better served to NOT ship those chucks with their kit, and just reduce the price, and then it's on the customer to purchase a better quality chuck/set (I bought a set, so I can do a larger variety of projects).
Consider this before dropping big bucks on a high-precision chuck set:
The purpose of a chuck on a "normal" lathe is to securely hold a chunk of something that's spinning at (possibly) high speeds and subjected to a serious amount of lateral force while doing so. Precision and balance are important to eliminate vibration & imbalance while uniformly gripping the spinning object which you are "trying" to knock loose with your tooling.
The purpose of a chuck on a fourth axis is to hold and object securely enough that the tooling (bit) won't cause it to slip in the chuck and cause the machine to lose track of "where it is" (relative to the work piece) as it indexes around for the next pass of the bit...in increments as small as 1/60th of a degree. Unless you are plunging aggressively, most of the force applied by the bit will be "linear" in the long axis of the work piece.
We are largely constrained in our rotary applications by the clearance limitations, so a variety of sizes, while "nice", is not really necessary. While we all enjoy and appreciate fine, precision equipment, chances are we could accomplish most, if not all, of what we do with a small spur and small faceplate without ever using the chuck on the "business end". That being said, if they're gonna sell it as part of a $1k option, it ought to work properly "out of the box".
I did consider the option of using a spur, however I have issues with the chuck jaws being out of alignment as well and did not want to post until after talking with Axiom. I have to agree with Allan about not having the chucks shipped and reducing the price. For the cost of the product and having a name of Axiom Precision you would expect a little closer tolerance.
Couple thoughts having some wood turning background:
- Have you tried tightening the chuck on a piece or hard wood yet? Does the misalignment stay or do the jaws align themselves a little better when you crank it down?
- I would probably remove the jaws and check if the slides (pieces the jaws are mounted to with the two screws) are numbered as well. If so, do the sequneces match? May not make a bit of difference but I would at least be curious....
Yea I did, and even tried different combinations. I am just let down on the quality of the chuck. I talked with Axiom and and got told whats below from Axiom about the same pictures. I really like the machine and was looking to add too the capabilities for the students I teach with the 4th axis. I will be in agreement with Alan's post that Axiom should not include the chuck, reduce the price and let the customer purchase their own or even put a spur in than the chuck.
"Thank you for giving us a call this morning.
As mentioned, I spoke with the rest of the team regarding the pictures you had sent.
It is understood that the chuck in used is not as precise as something like a Oneway or Nova…however, that level of precision is not required in this application.
Unlike, a lathe where the material is being rotated at a higher speed…our 4th axis accessory is simply an index, rotating the material in small steps as the machine does all the work moving down and back. As such the chuck works simply as a clamp.
Much like using a piece of material that is not perfectly square…the model may be slightly off center by a few thousandths, however, as it is simply indexing the material, the model would still be machined correctly.
You may be able to loosen all 4-jaws and either reposition or rearrange them to correct for alignment and fit.
If higher precision chucks are desired or required for a specific application…an 1-1/8” thread was used so that any standard Oneway or Nova 4-jaw chuck could be swapped in when needed.
I do hope this information is helpful, please let us know if you have any additional questions.
How was the alignment of your jaws? One of the jaws on mine was too small. Axiom is working with me to get a new one sent out.
I hesitate to mention this, because I'm a little embarassed by my own stupidity, but when I first got the kit, I opened the chuck as far as it would go (to see what the maximum opening was), and not realizing that there was a pin there to stop them from going too far, I opened it further (the pin didn't do it's job and/or I'm stronger than I thought) and the jaws fell off. Needless to say, woodturning is new to me (haven't touched a lathe since highschool, and 35 years ago I don't know if such things existed (I remember using plates, not chucks)). And I was wondering why the jaws were numbered: I found out the hard way, and it took a LONG time to get them back in the right order/place.
With all that said, I do remember that the movement was far from smooth, and after buying my new set (not Nova, but a generic brand from BusyBee Tools (probably only in Canada), I realize that you get what you pay for: my new set is smoother than the one that came with the rotary axis, but not as smooth as Nova, etc (I played with one at a woodworking shop). Granted, the display models have been played with enough that they are smoother than one fresh out of the box.
TL;DR version: as many people have pointed out, for the purpose that we are using the chuck for, I'm sure it's "good enough for government work", but that is hardly a ringing endorsement. I have other issues with the rotary axis (dubious build/quality control), but this issue (chuck) didn't make me any happier overall. I still haven't gotten around to playing with it (other "regular" CNC jobs having priority) but I plan on doing some rotary work in the near future (also bought a lathe, so I can use the 2 in conjunction (hopefully)).